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New York and London 


Copyright, 1897, 1898 ', 289$, by Harper & Brothers 

Copyright, z8$3, by C. L, Webster & Co. 

Copyright, 1898, by The Century Co. 

Copyright? 1898, by The Cosmopolitan 

Copyright* 1899* by Samuel J5. Moffett 

Copyright* 1918,, by The Mark Twain Company 

Printed in the United States of America 


THE following essay, which appears In the volume "In 
Defense of Harriet Shelley," was published originally 
in "Harper's Magazine" for September, 1899. It grew 
out of an article on Austria in the magazine for March, 
1898, which brought to its author a number of letters 
asking his opinion on the question of anti-Semitism. 

On rereading the essay recently the publishers were 
struck by its extraordinary application to present-day 
events. Except in such matters as statistics, the article 
might have been written in 1934 rather than in 1898. 
The publishers felt, therefore, that a reprinting of this 
frank, dispassionate survey by Mark Twain would be 
well worthwhile at tLis time when the problem dis- 
cussed Is of such grave significance to Jews and non- 
Jews alike throughout the world. 



SOME months ago I published a magazine article 
descriptive of a remarkable scene in the Imperial 
Parliament in Vienna. Since then I have received 
from Jews in America several letters of inquiry. They 
were difficult letters to answer, for they were not very 
definite. But at last I received a definite one. It is from 
a lawyer, and he really asks the questions which the 
other writers probably believed they were asking. By 
help of this text I will do the best I can to publicly 
answer this correspondent, and also the others at the 
same time apologizing for having failed to reply pri- 
vately. The lawyer's letter reads as follows: 

I have read "Stirring Times in Austria/* One 
point in particular is of vital import to not a few 
thousand people, including myself, being a point 
about which I have often wanted to address a 
question to some disinterested person. The show 
of military force in the Austrian Parliament, 
which precipitated the riots, was not introduced 
by any Jew. No Jew was a member of that body, 
No Jewish question was involved in the Ausgleich 
or in the language proposition. No Jew was in- 
sulting anybody. In short, no Jew was doing any 
mischief toward anybody whatsoever. In fact, the 

Jews were the only ones of the nineteen differ- 
ent races in Austria which did not have a party 
they are absolutely non-participants. Yet in your 
article you say that in the rioting which followed, 
all classes of people were unanimous only on one 
thing viz., in being against the Jews. Now will 
you kindly tell me why, in your judgment, the 
Jews have thus ever been, and are even now, in 
these days of supposed intelligence, the butt of 
baseless, vicious animosities? I dare say that for 
centuries there has been no more quiet, undis- 
turbing, and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than 
that same Jew. It seems to me that ignorance and 
fanaticism cannot alone account for these horrible 
and unjust persecutions. 

Tell me, therefore, from your vantage-point of 
cold view, what in your mind is the cause. Can 
American Jews do anything to correct it either 
in America or abroad? Will it ever come to an 
end? Will a Jew be permitted to live honestly, de- 
cently, and peaceably like the rest of mankind? 
What has become of the golden rule? 

I will begin by saying that if I thought myself 
prejudiced against the Jew, I should hold it fairest 
to leave this subject to a person not crippled In that 
way. But I think I have no such prejudice. A few years 
ago a Jew observed to me that there was no uncourte- 
ous reference to his people in my books, and asked how 
it happened. It happened because the disposition was 
lacking. I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race 
prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices nor 
caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I know 

it. I can standanyjociety- All thatjjcare to know Is 
that a man is a human being ^tEat is enough for me; 
he can't be any worse. I have no special regard for 
Satan; but I can at least claim that I have no prejudice 
against him. It may even be that I lean a little his way, 
on account of his not having a fair show. All religions 
issue bibles against him, and say the most injurious 
things about him, but we never hear h is side. We have 
none but the evidence for the prosecution, aBdjret we 
have rendered the verdlcT. ToTrSy mind, this is irregu- 
lar. It is uSaKEngEsKT" if" is jjpo^American; it is French. 
Without this precedent/6reyfu$ could not have been 

JL ' 

condemned. Of course Skfcaar-fifas some kind of a case, 
it goes without saying. It may be a poor one, but that 
is nothing; that can be said about any of us. As soon 
as I can get at the facts I will undertake his rehabilita- 
tion myself, if I can find an unpolitic publisher. It is a 
thing which we ought to be willing to do for any one 
who is under a cloud. We may not pay him reverence, 
for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect 
his talents. A person who has for untold centuries 
maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of 
four-fifths of the human race, and political head of the 
whole of it, must be granted the possession of executive 
abilities of the loftiest order. In his large presence the 
other popes and politicians shrink to midges for the 
microscope. I would like to see him. I would rather 
see him and shake him by the tail than any other mem- 


ber of the European Concert. In the present paper I 
shall allow myself to use the word Jew as i It stood 
for both religion and race. It is handy; and, besides, 
that is what the term means to the general world. 

In the above letter one notes these points: 

i. The Jew Is_ajv^-^haved^ citizen. 

2; Can jigjiorance and fana^icisict,a?p??^ account for 
his unjust treatment? 

3. Can Jews do anything to improve the situation? 

4. The Jews have no party; they are non-partici- 

5. Will the persecution ever come to an end? 

6. What has become of the golden rule? 

Point No. i. We must grant proposition No. i, for 
several sufficient reasons. The Jew is not a disturber of 
the peace of any country. Even his enemies will con- 
cede that. He is not a loafer, he is not a sot, he is not 
noisy, he Is not a brawler nor a rioter, he is not quar- 
relsome. In the statistics of crime his presence is con- 
spicuously rare in all countries. With murder and 
other crimes of violence he has but little to do: he is 
a stranger to the hangman. In the police court's daily 
long roll of "assaults" and "drunk and disorderlies" his 
name seldom appears. That the Jewish home is a home 
in the truest sense is a fact which no one will dispute. 
The family is knitted together by the strongest affec- 
tions; its members show each other every due respect; 
and reverence for the elders is an Inviolate law of the 


house. The Jew is not a burden on the charities of the 
state nor of the city; these could cease from their func- 
tions without affecting him. When he is well enough, 
he works; when he is incapacitated, his own people 
take care of him. And not in a poor and stingy way, 
but with a fine and large benevolence. His race is en- 
titled toj>ej:a^ of all the races 
of men. A Jewish beggar is not impossible, perhaps; 
ToSTa thing may exist, but there are few men that can 
say they have seen that spectacle. The Jew has been 
staged in many uncomplimentary forms, but, so far as 
I know, n jl^atist has done him the injustice to 
stage him as ^beggar^Whenever a Jew has real need to 
beg, his people save him from the necessity of doing it. 
The charitable institutions of the Jews are supported 
by Jewish money, and amply. The Jews make no noise 
about it; it is done quietly; they do not nag and pester 
and harass us for contributions; they give us peace, 
and set us an example an example which we have 
not found ourselves able to follow; for by nature we 
are not free givers, and have to be patiently and per- 
sistently hunted down in the interest of the unfor- 

These facts are all on the credit side of the propo- 
sition that the Jew is a good and orderly citizen. 
Summed up, they certify that he is quiet, peaceable, 
industrious, unaddicted to high crimes and brutal dis- 
positions; that his family life is commendable; that 


he is not a burden upon public charities; that he is 
not a beggar; that in benevolence he is above the reach 
of competition. These are the very quintessentials o 
good citizenship. If you can add that he is as honest 
as the average o his neighbors But I think that ques- 
tion is affirmatively answered by the fact that he is a 
successful business man. The basis of successful busi- 
ness is honesty; a business cannot thrive where the par- 
ties to it cannot trust each other. In the matter of num- 
bers the Jew counts for little in the overwhelming 
population of New York; but that his honesty counts 
for much is guaranteed by the fact that the immense 
wholesale business of Broadway, from the Battery to 
Union Square, is substantially in his hands. 

I suppose that the most picturesque example in his- 
tory of a trader's trust in his fellow-trader was one 
where it was not Christian trusting Christian, but 
Christian trusting Jew. That Hessian Duke who used 
to sell his subjects to George III. to fight George Wash- 
ington with got rich at it; and by and by, when the 
wars engendered by the French Revolution made his 
throne too warm for him, he was obliged to fly the 
country. He was in a hurry, and had to leave his earn- 
ings behind nine million dollars. He had to risk the 
money with some one without security. He did not 
select a Christian, but a Jew a Jew of only modest 
means, but of high character; a character so high that 
it left him lonesome Rothschild of Frankfort. Thirty 
years later, when Europe had become quiet and safe 


again, the Duke came back from overseas, and the 
Jew returned the loan, with Interest added. 1 

1 Here is another piece of picturesque history; and It reminds us 
that shabbiness and dishonesty are not the monopoly of any race or 
creed, but are merely human: 

"Congress passed a bill to pay 1379.56 to Moses Pendergrass, of 
Libertyville, Missouri. The story of the reason of this liberality Is 
pathetically interesting, and shows the sort of pickle that an honest 
man may get into who undertakes to do an honest job of work for 
Uncle Sam. In 1886 Moses Pendergrass put in a bid for the con- 
tract to carry the mail on the route from Knob Lick to Libertyviile 
and CoflEman, thirty miles a day, from July i, 1887, for one year. 
He got the postmaster at Knob Lick to write the letter for him, and 
while Moses intended that his bid should be $400, his scribe care- 
lessly made it $4. Moses got the contract, and did not find out 
about the mistake until the end of the first quarter, when he got 
his first pay. When he found at what rate he was working he was 
sorely cast down, and opened communication with the Post Office 
Department. The department informed Mm that he must either 
carry out his contract or throw it up, and that If he threw it up 
his bondsmen would have to pay the government $1,459.85 damages. 
So Moses carried out his contract, walked thirty miles every week- 
day for a year, and carried the mail, and received for his labor $4 
or, to be accurate, $6.84; for, the route being extended after his bid 
was accepted, the pay was proportionately increased. Now, after 
ten years, a bill was finally passed to pay to Moses the difference 
between what he earned in that unlucky year and what he received." 

The Sun, which tells the above story, says that bills were Intro- 
duced In three or four Congresses for Moses* relief, and that com- 
mittees repeatedly investigated his claim. 

It took six Congresses, containing in their persons the compressed 
virtues of 70,000,000 of people, and cautiously and carefully giving 
expression to those virtues in the fear of God and the next election, 
eleven years to find out some way to cheat a fellow-Christian out 
of about $13 on his honestly executed contract, and out of nearly 
$300 due him on its enlarged terms. And they succeeded. During 
the same time they paid out $1,000,000,000 in pensions a third of 
it unearned and undeserved. This indicates a splendid all-around 
competency in theft, for it starts with farthings, and works its 
industries all the way up to ship -loads. It may be possible that the 
Jews can beat this, but the man that bets on it is taking chances. 


The Jew has his other side. He has some discredit- 
able ways, though he has not a monopoly of them, be- 
cause he cannot get entirely rid of vexatious Christian 
competition. We have seen that he seldom transgresses 
the laws against crimes of violence. Indeed, his dealings 
with courts are almost restricted to matters connected 
with commerce. He has a reputation for various small 
forms of cheating, and for practising oppressive usury, 
and for burning himself out to get the Insurance, and 
arranging for cunning contracts which leave him an 
exit but lock the other man in, and for smart evasions 
which find him safe and comfortable just within the 
strict letter of the law, when court and jury know very 
well that he has violated the spirit of it. He Is a fre- 
quent and faithful and capable officer in the civil serv- 
ice, but he is charged with an unpatriotic disinclina- 
tion to stand by the flag as a soldier like the Christian 

Now if you offset these discreditable features by the 
creditable ones summarized in a preceding paragraph 
beginning with the words, "These facts are all on the 
credit side/ 1 and strike a balance, what must the ver- 
dict be? This, I think: that, the merits and demerits 
being fairly weighed and measured on both sides, the 
Christian can claim no superiority over the Jew in the 
matter of good citizenship. 

Yet, in all countries, from the dawn o history, the 
Jew has been persistently and implacably hated, and 
with frequency persecuted. 


Point No. 2. "Can fanaticism alone account for 

Years ago I used to think that it was responsible for 
nearly all o it, but latterly I have come to think that 
this was an error. Indeed, it is now my conviction that 
it is responsible for hardly any of it. In this connection 
I call to mind Genesis, chapter xlvii. 

We have all thoughtfully or unthoughtfully read 
the pathetic story of the years of plenty and the years 
of famine in Egypt, and how Joseph, with that oppor- 
tunity, made a corner in broken hearts, and the crusts 
of the poor, and human liberty a corner whereby he 
took a nation's money all away, to the last penny; took 
a nation's land away, to the last acre; then took the 
nation itself, buying it for bread, man by man, woman 
by woman, child by child, till all were slaves; a corner 
which took everything, left nothing; a corner so stu- 
pendous that, by comparison with it, the most gigantic 
corners in subsequent history are but baby things, for 
it dealt in hundreds of millions of bushels, and its 
profits were reckonable by hundreds of millions of 
dollars, and it was a disaster so crushing that its effects 
have not wholly disappeared from Egypt today, more 
than three thousand years after the event. 

Is it presumable that the eye of Egypt was upon 
Joseph, the foreign J^w, all this time? I think It likely. 
Was it friendly? We must doubt it. Was Joseph estab- 
lishing a character for his race which would survive 
long In Egypt? And In time would his name come to 


be familiarly used to express that character like Shy- 
lock's? It is hardly to be doubted. Let us remember 
that this was centuries before the crucifixion. 

I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later 
and refer to a remark made by one of the Latin his- 
torians. I read it in a translation many years ago, and 
it comes back to me now with force. It was alluding to 
a time when people were still living who could have 
seen the Saviour in the flesh. Christianity was so new 
that the people of Rome had hardly heard of it, and 
had but confused notions of what it was. The sub- 
stance of the remark was this: Some Christians were 
persecuted in Rome through error, they being "mis- 
taken for Jews." 

The meaning seems plain. These pagans had noth- 
ing against Christians, but they were quite ready to 
persecute Jews. For some reason or other they hated 
a Jew before they even knew what a Christian was. 
May I not assume, then, that the persecution of Jews 
is a thing which antedates Christianity and was not 
born of Christianity? I think so. What was the origin 
of the feeling? ^ 

When I was a boy, in the back settlements of the 
Mississippi Valley, where a gracious and beautiful 
Sunday-school simplicity and unpracticality prevailed, 
the "Yankee (citizen of the New England states) was 
hated with a splendid energy. But religion had noth- 
ing to do with it. In a trade, the Yankee was held to 
be about five times the match of the Westerner. His 


shrewdness, his Insight, his judgment, his knowledge, 
his enterprise, and his formidable cleverness in apply- 
ing these forces were frankly confessed, and most com- 
petently cursed. 

In the cotton states, after the war, the simple and 
ignorant negroes made the crops for the white planter 
on shares. The Jew came down in force, set up shop 
on the plantation, supplied all the negro's wants on 
credit, and at the end of the season was proprietor of 
the negro's share of the present crop and of part of 
his share of the next one. Before long the whites de- 
tested the Jew, and it is doubtful if the negro loved 

The Jew is being legislated out of Russia. The rea- 
son is not concealed. The movement was instituted 
because the Christian peasant and villager stood no 
chance against his commercial abilities. He was al- 
ways ready to lend money on a crop, and sell vodka 
and other necessaries of life on credit while the crop 
was growing. When settlement day came he owned the 
cropland next year or year after he owned the farm, 
like Joseph. 

In the dull and ignorant England of John's time 
everybody got into debt to the Jew. He gathered all 
lucrative enterprises into his hands; he was the king 
of commerce; he was ready to be helpful in all profit- 
able ways; he even financed crusades for the rescue of 
the Sepulcher. To wipe out his account with the na- 

tion and restore business to Its natural and Incompe- 
tent channels he had to be banished the realm. 

For the like reasons Spain had to banish him four 
hundred years ago, and Austria about a couple o cen- 
turies later. 

In all the ages Christian Europe had been obliged to 
curtail his activities. I he entered upon a mechanical 
trade, the Christian had to retire from it. If he set up 
as a doctor, he was the best one, and he took the busi- 
ness. If he exploited agriculture, the other farmers had 
to get at something else. Since there was no way to 
successfully compete with him in any vocation, the law 
had to step in and save the Christian from the poor- 
house. Trade after trade was taken away from the Jew 
by statute till practically none was left. He was for- 
bidden to engage in agriculture; he was forbidden to 
practise law; he was forbidden to practise medicine, 
except among Jews; he was forbidden the handicrafts. 
Even the seats of learning and the schools of science 
had to be closed against this tremendous antagonist. 
Still, almost bereft of employments, he found ways to 
make money, even ways to get rich. Also ways to invest 
his takings well, for usury was not denied him. In the 
hard conditions suggested, the Jew without brains 
could not survive, and the Jew with brains had to keep 
them in good training and well sharpened up, or 
starve. Ages of restriction to the one tool which the 
law was not able to take from him his brain have 
made that tool singularly competent; ages of conapul- 

sory disuse of his hands have atrophied them, and he 
never uses them now. This history has a very, very com- 
mercial look, a most sordid and practical commercial 
look, the business aspect of a Chinese cheap-labor cru- 
sade. Religious prejudices may account for one part of 
It, but not for the other nine. 

Protestants have persecuted Catholics, but they did 
not take their livelihoods away from them. The Catho- 
lics have persecuted the Protestants with bloody and 
awful bitterness, but they never closed agriculture and 
the handicrafts against them. Why was that? That has 
the candid look of genuine religious persecution, not 
a trade-union boycott In a religious disguise. 

The Jews are harried and obstructed in Austria and 
Germany, and lately In France; but England and 
America give them an open field and yet survive. 
Scotland offers them an unembarrassed field too, but 
there are not many takers. There are a few Jews In 
Glasgow, and one in Aberdeen; but that is because 
they can't earn enough to get away. The Scotch pay 
themselves that compliment, but it Is authentic. 

I feel convinced that the Crucifixion has not much 
to "do with" the world's i attitude toward the Jew; that 
the reasons for it are older than that event, as sug- 
gested by Egypt's experience and by Rome's regret 
for having persecuted an unknown quantity called a 
Christian, under the mistaken impression that she was 
merely persecuting a Jew. Merely a Jew a skinned 
eel who was used to It, presumably. I am persuaded 

that In Russia, Austria, and Germany nine-tenths of 
the hostility to the Jew comes from the average Chris- 
tian's inability to compete successfully with the average 
Jew in business in either straight business or the 
questionable sort. 

In Berlin, a few years ago, I read a speech which 
frankly urged the expulsion of the Jews from Ger- 
many; and the agitator's reason was as frank as his 
proposition. It was this: that eighty-five per cent, of 
the successful lawyers of Berlin were Jews, and that 
about the same percentage of the great and lucrative 
businesses of all sorts in Germany were in the hands 
of the Jewish racel Isn't it an amazing confession? It 
was but another way of saying that in a population of 
48,000,000 of whom only 500,000 were registered as 
Jews, eighty-five per cent, of the brains and honesty 
of the whole was lodged in the Jews. I must insist upon 
the honesty it is an essential of successful business, 
taken by and large. Of course it does not rule out 
rascals entirely, even among Christians, but it is a 
good working rule, nevertheless. The speaker's figures 
may have been inexact, but the motive of persecution 
stands out as clear as day. 

The man claimed that in Berlin the banks, the news- 
papers, the theaters, the great mercantile, shipping, 
mining, and manufacturing interests, the big army and 
city contracts, the tramways, and pretty much all other 
properties of high value, and also the small businesses 
were in the hands of the Jews. He said the Jew was 

pushing the Christian to the wall all along the line; 
that It was all a Christian could do to scrape together 
a living; and that the Jew must be banished, and soon 
there was no other way of saving the Christian. Here 
in Vienna, last autumn, an agitator said that all these 
disastrous details were true of Austria-Hungary also; 
and in fierce language he demanded the expulsion of 
the Jews. When the politicians come out without a 
blush and read the baby act in this frank way, unre- 
buked, It is a very good indication that they have a 
market back of them, and know where to fish for 

You note the crucial point of the mentioned agita- 
tion; the argument is that the Christian cannot com- 
pete with the Jew, and that hence his very bread is In 
peril. To human beings this Is a much more hate- 
inspiring thing than Is any detail connected with re- 
ligion. With most people, of a necessity, bread and 
meat take first rank, religion second. I am convinced 
that the persecution of the Jew is not due in any 
large degree to religious prejudice. 

No, the Jew is a money-getter; and in getting his 
money he is a very serious obstruction to less capable 
neighbors who are on the same quest. I think that that 
Is the trouble. In estimating world values the Jew 
is not shallow, but deep. With precocious wisdom he 
found out in the morning of time that some men wor- 
ship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, 
some worship God, and that over these ideals they 

dispute and cannot unite but that they all worship 
money; so he made it the end and aim o his life to 
get it. He was at It in Egypt thirty-six centuries ago; 
he was at it in Rome when that Christian got perse- 
cuted by mistake for him; he has been at it ever since. 
The cost to him has been heavy; his success has made 
the whole human race his enemy but it has paid, for 
it has brought him envy, and that-is^the only thing 
which men will sell both soul and body to get. He long 
ago observed that a millionaire commands respect, a 
two-millionaire homage, a multi-millionaire the deep- 
est deeps of adoration. We all know that feeling; we 
have seen it express itself. We have noticed that when 
the average man mentions the name of a multi-million- 
aire he does It with that mixture in his voice of awe 
and reverence and lust which burns In a Frenchman's 
eye when it falls on another man's centime. 

Point No. 4. "The Jews have no party; they are 
non-participants . * * 

Perhaps you have let the secret out and given your- 
self away. It seems hardly a credit to the race that it 
Is able to say that; or to you, sir, that you can say It 
without remorse; more, that you should offer it as a 
plea against maltreatment, Injustice, and oppression. 
Who gives the Jew the right, who gives any race the 
right, to sit still, in a free country, and let somebody 
else look after its safety? The oppressed Jew was en- 
titled to all pity in the former times under brutal 
autocracies, for he was weak and friendless, and had 

no way to help his case. But he has ways now, and 
he has had them for a century, but I do not see that 
he has tried to make serious use o them. When the 
Revolution set him free in France it was an act of 
grace the grace of other people; he does not appear in 
it as a helper. I do not know that he helped when 
England set him free. Among the Twelve Sane Men 
of France who have stepped forward with great Zola 
at their head to fight (and win,, I hope and believe 1 ) 
the battle for the most infamously misused Jew of 
modern times, do you find a great or rich or illustrious 
Jew helping? In the United States he was created free 
in the beginning he did not need to help, of course. 
In Austria, and Germany, and France he has a vote, 
but of what considerable use is it to him? He doesn't 
seem to know how to apply it to the best effect. With 
all his splendid capacities and all his fat wealth he is 
to-day not politically important in any country. In 
America, as early as 1854, the ignorant Irish hod- 
carrier, who had a spirit of his own and a way of ex- 
posing it to the weather, made it apparent to all that 
he must be politically reckoned with; yet fifteen years 
before that we hardly knew what an Irishman looked 
like. As an intelligent force, and numerically, he has 
always been away down, but he has governed the coun- 
try just the same. It was because he was organized. It 
made his vote valuable in fact, essential. 

You will say the Jew is everywhere numerically 

1 The article was written in the summer of 1898. EDITOR. 


feeble. That Is nothing to the point with the Irish- 
man's history for an object-lesson. But I am coming to 
your numerical feebleness presently. In all parliamen- 
tary countries you could no doubt elect Jews to the leg- 
islatures and even one member in such a body is 
sometimes a force which counts. How deeply have 
you concerned yourselves about this in Austria, France, 
and Germany? Or even in America for that matter? You 
remark that the Jews were not to blame for the riots in 
this Reichsrath here, and you add with satisfaction that 
there wasn't one in that body. That is not strictly cor- 
rect; if It were, would it not be In order for you to 
explain it and apologize for it, not try to make a merit 
of it? But I think that the Jew was by no means in as 
large force there as he ought to have been, with his 
chances. Austria opens the suffrage to him on fairly 
liberal terms, and it must surely be his own fault that 
he is so much in the background politically. 

As to your numerical weakness. I mentioned some 
figures awhile ago 500,000 as the Jewish population 
of Germany. I will add some more 6,000,000 In Russia, 
5,000,000 in Austria, 250,000 in the United States. I 
take them from memory! I read them In the Encyclo- 
pedia Britannica about ten years ago. Still, I am en- 
tirely sure of them. If those statistics are correct, my 
argument Is not as strong as it ought to be as concerns 
America, but It still has strength. It Is plenty strong 
enough as concerns Austria, for ten years ago 5,000,000 
was nine per cent, of the empire's population. The 


Irish would govern the Kingdom of Heaven If they 
had a strength there like that. 

I have some suspicions; I got them at second hand, 
but they have remained with me these ten or twelve 
years. When I read in the E. B. that the Jewish popu- 
lation of the United States was 250,000, I wrote the 
editor, and explained to him that I was personally ac- 
quainted with more Jews than that in my country, 
and that his figures were without doubt a misprint for 
25,000,000. I also added that I was personally ac- 
quainted with that many there; but that was only to 
raise his confidence in me, for it was not true. His 
answer miscarried, and I never got it; but I went 
around talking about the matter, and people told me 
they had reason to suspect that for business reasons 
many Jews whose dealings were mainly with the Chris- 
tians did not report themselves as Jews in the census. 
It looked plausible; it looks plausible yet. Look at the 
city of New York; and look at Boston, and Philadel- 
phia, and New Orleans, and Chicago, and Cincinnati, 
and San Francisco how your race swarms in those 
places! and everywhere else in America, down to the 
least little village. Read the signs on the marts of com- 
merce and on the shops: Goldstein (gold stone) , Edel- 
stein (precious stone) , Blumenthal (flower-vale) , 
Rosenthal (rose-vale) , Veilchenduft (violet odor) , 
Singvogel (song-bird) , Rosenzweig (rose branch) , and 
all the amazing list of beautiful and enviable names 
which Prussia and Austria glorified you with so long 

ago. It Is another instance of Europe's coarse and cruel 
persecution of your race; not that it was coarse and 
cruel to outfit it with pretty and poetical names like 
those, but that it was coarse and cruel to make it pay 
for them or else take such hideous and often indecent 
names that to-day their owners never use them; or, 
if they do, only on official papers. And it was the many, 
not the few, who got the odious names, they being too 
poor to bribe the officials to grant them better ones. 

Now why was the race renamed? I have been told 
that in Prussia it was given to using fictitious names, 
and often changing them, so as to beat the tax-gatherer, 
escape military service, and so on; and that finally the 
idea was hit upon of furnishing all the inmates of a 
house with one and the same surname, and then hold- 
ing the house responsible right along for those inmates, 
and accountable for any disappearances that might oc- 
cur; it made the Jews keep track of each other, for 
self-interest's sake, and saved the government the 
trouble. 1 

If that explanation of how the Jews of Prussia came 
to be renamed is correct, if it is true that they ficti- 

1 In Austria the renaming was merely done because the Jews in 
some newly acquired regions had no surnames, but were mostly 
named Abraham and Moses, and therefore the tax-gatherer could 
not tell t'other from which, and was likely to lose his reason over 
the matter. The renaming was put into the hands of the War 
Department, and a charming mess the graceless young lieutenants 
made of it. To them a Jew was of no sort of consequence, and they 
labeled the race in a way to make the angels weep. As an example 
take these two! Abraham Bellyache and Schmul Godbedamned.^ 
Culled from "Namens Studien/' by Karl Emil Franzos. 


tiously registered themselves to gain certain advan- 
tages, it may possibly be true that In America they 
refrain from registering themselves as Jews to fend 
off the damaging prejudices of the Christian customer. 
I have no way of knowing whether this notion is well 
founded or not. There may be other and better ways 
of explaining why only that poor little 250,000 of 
our Jews got into the Encyclopedia. I may, o course, 
be mistaken, but I am strongly of the opinion that we 
have an Immense Jewish population In America. 

Point No. 3. "Can Jews do anything to improve 
the situation?" 

I think so. If I may make a suggestion without seem- 
ing to be trying to teach my grandmother how to suck 
eggs, I will offer It. In our days we have learned the 
value of combination. We apply it everywhere in 
railway systems, in trusts, in trade-unions, in Salvation 
Armies, in minor politics, in major politics, in Euro- 
pean Concerts. Whatever our strength may be, big or 
little, we organize It. We have found out that that is 
the only way to get the most out of it that Is in It, 
We know the weakness of individual sticks, and the 
strength of the concentrated fagot. Suppose you try a 
scheme like this, for instance. In England and America 
put every Jew on the census-book as a Jew (in case 
you have not been doing that) . Get up volunteer regi- 
ments composed of Jews solely, and, when the drum 
beats, fall In and go to the front, so as to remove the 
reproa^ti that you have few Massenas among you, and 


that you feed on a country but don't like to fight for 
it. Next, in politics, organise your strength, band to- 
gether, and deliver the casting vote where you can, 
and, where you can't, compel as good terms as possible. 
You huddle to yourselves already in all countries, but 
you huddle to no sufficient purpose, politically speak- 
ing. You do not seem to be organized, except for your 
charities. There you are omnipotent; there you compel 
your due of recognition you do not have to beg for it. 
It shows what you can do when you band together for 
a definite purpose. 

And then from America and England you can en- 
courage your race in Austria, France, and Germany, 
and materially help it. It was a pathetic tale that was 
told by a poor Jew in Galicia a fortnight ago during 
the riots, after he had been raided by the Christian 
peasantry and despoiled of everything he had. He said 
his vote was of no value to him, and he wished he 
could be excused from casting it, for indeed casting it 
was a sure damage to him, since no matter which party 
he voted for, the other party would come straight and 
take its revenge out of him. Nine per cent, of the 
population of the empire, these Jews, and apparently 
they cannot put a plank into any candidate's platform! 
If you will send our Irish lads over here I think they 
will organize your race and change the aspect of the 

You seem to think that the Jews take no hand in 
politics here, that they are "absolutely nonpartici- 


pants." I am assured by men competent to speak that 
this is a very large error, that the Jews are exceedingly 
active in politics all over the empire, but that they 
scatter their work and their votes among the numerous 
parties, and thus lose the advantages to be had by con- 
centration. I think that in America they scatter too, 
but you know more about that than I do. 

Speaking of concentration, Dr. Herzl has a clear in- 
sight into the value of that. Have you heard of his 
plan? He wishes to gather the Jews of the world to- 
IgeQSer in Palestine, with a government of their own 
under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. At the 
convention of Berne, last year, there were delegates 
from everywhere, and the proposal was received with 
decided favor. I am not the Sultan, and I am not ob- 
jecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest 
brains in the world was going to be made in a free 
country (bar Scotland) , I think it would be politic to 
stop it. It will not be well to let that race find out its 
strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride 
any more. 

Point No. 5. "Will the persecution of the Jews 
ever come to an end?" 

On the score of religion, I think it has already come 
to an end. On the score of race prejudice and trade, I 
have the idea that it will continue. That is, here and 
there in spots about the world, where a barbarous ig- 
norance and a sort of mere animal civilization prevail; 
but I do not think that elsewhere the Jew need now 


stand In any fear of being robbed and raided. Among 
the high civilizations he seems to be very comfortably 
situated indeed, and to have more than his propor- 
tionate share of the prosperities going. It has that look 
In Vienna. I suppose the race prejudice cannot be re- 
moved; but he can stand that; it Is no particular mat- 
ter. By his make and ways he is substantially a 
foreigner wherever he may be, and even the angels dis- 
like a foreigner. I^jaxj^sing this word foreigner in the 
German sense Stranger. JM early all of us have an antip- 
athy to a strang7*even of our own nationality. We 
pile gripsacks In a vacant seat to keep him from get- 
ting it; and a dog goes further, and does as a savage 
would challenges him on the spot. The German dic- 
tionary seems to make no distinction between a stran- 
ger and a foreigner; in Its view a stranger is a foreigner 
a sound position, I think. You will always be by 
ways and habits and predilections substantially stran- 
gers foreigners wherever you are, and that will 
probably keep the race prejudice against you alive. 

But you were the favorites of Heaven originally, and 
your manifold and unfair prosperities convince me 
that you have crowded back into that snug place again. 
Here is an incident that is significant. Last week In 
Vienna a hail-storm struck the prodigious Central 
Cemetery and made wasteful destruction there. In the 
Christian part of it, according to the official figures, 
621 window-panes were broken; more than 900 sing- 
ing-birds were killed; five great trees and many small 

ones were torn to shreds and the shreds scattered far 
and wide by the wind; the ornamental plants and other 
decorations of the graves were ruined, and more than 
a hundred tomb-lanterns shattered; and it took the 
cemetery's whole force of 300 laborers more than three 
days to clear away the storm's wreckage. In the report 
occurs this remark and in its italics you can hear it 
grit its Christian teeth: ". . . lediglich die israelitische 
Abtheilung des Friedhofes vom Hagelwetter ganzlich 
verschont worden war." Not a hailstone hit the Jewish 
reservation! Such nepotism makes me tired. 

Point No. 6. "What has become of the golden 

It exists, it continues to sparkle, and is well taken 
care of. It is Exhibit A in the Church's assets, and we 
pull it out every Sunday and give it an airing. But 
you are not permitted to try to smuggle it into this 
discussion, where it is irrelevant and would not feel 
at home. It is strictly religious furniture, like an 
acolyte, or a contribution-plate, or any of those things. 
It has never been intruded into business; and Jewish 
persecution is not a religious passion, it is a business 

To conclude. If the statistics are right, the Jews 
constitute but one per cent, of the human race. It 
suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the 
blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly 
to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been 
heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any 


other people, and his Commercial importance is ex- 

travagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his 
bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great 
names in literature, science, art, muwc, Jfin 

cine, and abstruse ISHnngTare also away out of pro- 
portion" toTEe weakness of his numbers. He has made 
a "marvelous "fight in this world, in all the ages; and 
has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could 
be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyp- 
tian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the 
planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream- 
stuflE and passed away; the Greek and the Roman fol- 
lowed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other 
peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for 
a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, 
or have vanished. The Jew saw themjin L j3eat them 
all, and is now j^E^T^^w a 7 s was > exhibiting no 
decadenceTno infirmities of age, no weakeniiig, j> his 
pafTsT^iio -Stewing : ^ jus^nggies lm jflp^jdlilling^ of his- 
alert and aggressive -mind. All things are mortal but 
tKe J^ew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What 
is the secret ^^h 





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